Why Exercise Becomes More Important As You Get Older

*This is a collaborative post

Regular exercise is important no matter how old you are. It helps you to burn excess calories and improves your blood circulation so that you stay fit and healthy throughout your life. However, exercise becomes more important as you get older for several reasons.

If you have been exercising regularly in your youth, you should be feeling the benefits of this hard work already, but there are more benefits once you reach a certain age. Let’s look at these benefits to explain why exercise is so important as you get older.

Improves Mobility

A common concern for people of a certain age is mobility. Getting up and moving becomes more difficult as you get older because your muscles start to degenerate, while your joints stiffen due to inflammation. Unfortunately, this process can make it difficult for you to get and do the things you love.

However, you can prevent the degeneration of your muscles by performing regular exercise. You don’t have to head to the gym and hit the weights, but some routine toning techniques can help keep your muscles stronger for longer. Therefore, you can stay on the move long after your retirement.

Improving Mental Health 

Mental health refers to several factors that relate to the mind, so let’s break them down. First, it is normal for your mind to deteriorate as you age. This slowing of your cognitive abilities affects your ability to remember details, solve problems, and perform some of your daily activities. While you can certainly take part in puzzles and mental activities to prevent this, physical exercise will also help. Getting your blood pumping quickly around your body speeds up the delivery of oxygen to the brain, the very thing it needs to remain healthy.

The second element of mental health is your emotional state. This can include your likelihood of experiencing illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and studies have shown that these are two major issues in the elderly community. Unfortunately, there is no cure for these illnesses, but research has revealed that getting outside and maintaining your physical well-being can improve your mood. 

Preventing Illness

It isn’t just your mental health that needs to be maintained as you get older. Your physical health is also important, but many adults become more susceptible to illnesses once they have aged. Your immune system will slow down, and your organs are not as strong as they once were. This means that a common illness may cause more damage to your body than it would have in someone younger. For example, pneumonia is a bacterial infection that affects both lungs and will fill them with liquid. A younger set of lungs is more likely to recover from this infection as the lungs are strong enough to function whilst under stress. Therefore, you will have a better chance of fighting off an illness like this by strengthening your lungs with regular exercise.

Improved Social Life

Once you retire, it is less common to engage in regular conversation with your peers. As humans, we need social interaction because it causes laughter, something that releases endorphins, a chemical that creates a happy feeling. Without regular social interaction, our mood becomes low, and it becomes easier to succumb to conditions like depression. Unfortunately, there are few reasons to leave the house once you have given up work, which makes it harder to meet new people and form social bonds.

A regular exercise group provides you with a reason to leave the house and can get you talking with people you would not meet otherwise. While you may not feel that you require regular exercise from a health standpoint, there is no denying that the social interaction that comes from these groups would do you some good.

Aids With Sleep

You would think that it would be easier to get a full night’s sleep once you are older. Your body gets tired more quickly, therefore it should require more sleep. Sadly, this is not the case, and many elderly individuals struggle with conditions such as insomnia. This is because your brain is producing too much unused mental activity, a by-product of no longer attending a regular job.

Therefore, you should try to use up some of this excess mental activity by participating in a regular exercise routine. This will tire your muscles out for the day and reduce the amount of mental activity at night to finally get some decent sleep.

Summary

Retirement is the perfect time for you to kick back and relax; however, that does not mean that you should come to a complete stop. Try to make sure that you are still getting some regular exercise to enjoy all the benefits above. This will ensure that you stay happy and healthy as you age, and it can even help you to live longer.

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